Daily Encouragement Net Header
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home   About Us  Archives   Free email subscription   ListenListen to these messages
 See here for more info.

<Previous Message                                                    Next Message>

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Eternal perspective (photo by Doris High)
Interior of the general store at Wheaton Arts Center
I took this photo last month in Millville New Jersey.  General stores sure bring back memories to me, although in my childhood there were few stores that looked like this. This was actually a gift shop set up to look like an old general store with nostalgic items for sale.

ListenListen to us share this message on your audio player.

"God Is In Control"

"The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance" (Acts 12:6).

Brooksyne and I periodically have a hard time getting a good night's sleep. I suppose this just comes with aging! Based upon all the advertisements for mattresses, sleeping aids and other sleep related items we are not alone. A deluge of research has been done on this subject.  Studies are conducted daily in hospital clinics for the sleep-deprived people in our society.  Many reading our message today will identify.

In considering reasons for one long, sleepless night, Peter certainly had a valid one.  His fellow disciple and friend James had just been beheaded and the next morning he was to stand trial before Herod Agrippa, the persecutor of the Christian church.  Now at this time humanly speaking, Herod's likely action was pretty evident.  His poll ratings among the Jewish majority had shot up dramatically at James' death.  You might say he was in the mood to persecute. 

Surely Peter would be mentally preparing for his defense through the long dark night.  In addition to awaiting the trial he was bound to two soldiers with two chains.  Additional soldiers were guarding the entrance.  I really don't suppose Peter was given a nice soft bed with clean sheets or a pillow; a given for most of us.  And Tylenol PM was "light years" from making its debut among the sleepless population at this time! 

Yet Peter was sleeping soundly.  The angel had to strike Peter on the side to awaken him.

Perhaps our Lord's convicting words many years earlier on the lake had really sunk in.  At that time Jesus, along with the disciples, was crossing the Sea of Galilee when a great storm arose.   He was sleeping on a cushion but was awakened by the terrified disciples as they questioned Him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"  He rebuked the storm and then asked this probing question, "Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?"  (Mark 4:40). 

I believe Peter had learned from this experience and from other miraculous interventions he witnessed that God is in control.  Isn't that true for all who believe?  The longer we live the more we see God intervene for His children.  The church prayed earnestly for Peter's release.  The same prison entrance that bound Peter with chains became a miraculous exit to his freedom in the middle of the night.

A very important Biblical issue we must face head on is this:  In ways we simply do not understand, God was no less in control at the beheading of James than in Peter's miraculous deliverance  recorded in Acts 12.  It's the same today when one is miraculously delivered or healed and their life is extended a short season, while another, equally precious in God's sight, is not spared.

Today God is in control; in your life and in mine.  Real peace and assurance comes from a deep, abiding knowledge and trust that He is in control.  Are you going through a storm or are you enduring a "trial"?  Are you experiencing sleepless nights due to worries?  Remember God is in control.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, just as You sent an angel to rescue Peter from Herod's wrath You rescue us from the dangers, toils, and snares that overwhelm us.  In the darkness of Peter's cell the sudden appearance of an angel radiated light from heaven showing him the way to freedom.  Help us to look to the light of Your Holy Word that releases us from the hopelessness of our circumstance. Thank You for the messengers of light You commission who encourage us or release us from our fears, whether they be angels from heaven or your servants on earth.  Amen.

Today's account is found in Acts 12

Quintin FreyYesterday I attended a meeting here in Lancaster County and heard a powerful testimony for Christ from Quintin Frey (left in photo), the president of Turkey Hill Dairy.  He made a point that really stuck with me. "Our lives are the summation of our choices."  Several years ago Brooksyne and I had the privilege of having a business relationship with Quintin when we worked for an EAP company that provides service to his company and found him to be a man of integrity and genuine care for his associates.  What's more we sure enjoy Turkey Hill ice cream and iced tea!

Corn on the cob

Yesterday at dinner time we had our first corn on the cob of the season prepared by Brooksyne. Our friend, Jesse Lapp,  attended the luncheon meeting with me and then we took him home. After a brief visit with his family he picked some fresh corn out of their garden for our dinner. It was delicious!

WheelbarrowOur story from Tuesday's message about my wanting to transport Brooksyne in a wheelbarrow after she broke her ankle prompted some comments from readers:

* When our spunky 70-something-year-old neighbor fell and broke a bone while working in a back field, her husband actually went home and got his tractor, that had a bucket loader - and she rode home in the tractor bucket before being transported to the hospital more conventionally!

* A new father-to-be arrived at the hospital with his wife well into labor. The staff immediately provided a wheelchair for her. The husband looked earnestly at his wife and asked, "Honey, are you sure you want to go through with this?" She immediately, and loudly, said "Get him out of here!" 

* My wife, Candy, stood on a chair to get something off the shelf in the coat closet in the foyer. As she stepped down, her shirt sleeve got caught on the doorknob, causing her to lose her balance and tumble to the floor, breaking her left wrist in two places. She cried out for Jessica, our oldest, who was probably 12 to 14 years old at the time, to call 911. Jessica's response? "Oh, Mom, you're just kidding!" and she walked off. Candy had to drag herself to the kitchen and some how maneuver the phone on the wall to dial 911 herself.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

(Click on the link to play in your audio player)

"God Is In Control"  Video  A powerful song by Twila Paris!

"God Is In Control"
 This song (same title but different from the one above) has thoughtful lyrics and a rich theological perspective.
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.

Sign up for the free daily email encouragement at www.dailyencouragement.net

Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. I do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.

Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

Daily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of Christianbook.com 
© Copyright 2008 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved
Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552  USA

Contact us

"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"